Monaco Solar Boat Race results 2018

The Monaco Solar Boat Challenge is the only open water solar boat race in the world (stay tuned about a Canadian solar race event being planned with the EBAC) and held its fifth competition from July 12-14 at the Yacht Club de Monaco (YCM).

This year 29 teams competed, from Poland, Belgium, Indonesia, Portugal, Monaco, France, Italy, England, Hungary and the Netherlands. Most of the teams are from university engineering programs, but commercial entries are also allowed. For the first time the Challenge was expanded to include a variety of electric boats powered by clean energy sources other than solar.

There are races in three classes. The Speed, Slalom and Endurance events for solar boats take place in Monaco’s Port Hercule Harbour and there is an offshore race from Monaco to Vintimiglia, Italy and back, a distance of 16 nautical miles.

Boats compete in three classes: Solar, Offshore, and Energy Class. In the Energy class for the offshore race all contestants were given a one-design identical catamaran hull by the YCM and had to build a cockpit and design the most powerful and durable propulsion system from a given amount of energy.  Bio Fuel, battery, hydrogen, compressed air, or anything else, the choice was wide as long it was a clean source.

The Solar speed record was retained by the Clafis Victron Energy Solar Boat Team with Gerhard van der Schaar piloting and duplicating his own world record of 26 knots (49 km/h/30 mph) recorded over a distance of one eighth of a nautical mile (231.5m).

In the solar Endurance category the University of Antwerp completed 24 laps (of one km each) in one hour. And in the offshore race Vita Yachts was victorious with the only time under one hour – 54:41.

In addition to the races, the Monaco Solar Challenge holds TechTalks from the competitors in which they discuss their projects and future plans. Of particular note this year was the presentation from Solarboot Team Emden outlining their program for a solar-powered boat that will be used on Lake Buyonyi in Uganda to take children to and from school.

The Monaco Solar Challenge is presented by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, Hydros Foundation and International Powerboating Federation (UIM). This year’s patron was Bertrand Piccard, pilot of the Solar Impulse 2 solar airplane which circumnavigated the globe in 2016. See his video message below.

For more complete information on the race, click on the links below the video.

VIDEOS:  Yacht Club de Monaco YouTube Channel   

TECHTALKS: Videos and pdfs of Team Presentations 

Monaco Solar Challenge 5th Edition kicks off

Solar and Energy Challenge a big success for 2018

Clean energy set to propel yachting’s future

All-electric ferries come to Canada

Lake Ontario mainland to Amherst Island and Wolfe Island

New all electric ferries that will reduce greenhouse emissions by 1,357 cars (7.4 million kg of CO2/year) are expected to start operating in early 2020 for Amherst Island and a year later for Wolfe Island.  The Province of Ontario is investing approximately $94 million and the Government of Canada is contributing up to a maximum of $31 million towards building the new ferries.

Existing ferries transport about 1.2 million passengers and 545,000 cars each year from Kingston to the islands near the mouth of the St. Lawrence River. The new ferries – one 98m and the other 68m – match the capacity and speed of the existing diesel burning ships. The larger of the two will run from Kingston to Wolfe Island, carrying up to 400 people and 75 cars, the smaller Amherst Island model carrying 300 and 42. Both have top speeds of 12 knots.

One of the most challenging aspects of building electric ferries is not the actual boat itself, but how it is charged. The ferries will be built by the Damen company of the Netherlands, and their contract includes an automated mooring and charging system in which the vessels are automatically connected to the shore power grid on landing.

Electric ships gaining momentum

Back in 2014 one of Norway’s major ferry companies, Norled, announced the world’s first fully electric battery-powered car ferry. Its competitor Fjord 1 – the largest ferry operator in Norway – has also joined the electric revolution with not only ferries but also cruise ships visiting the country’s famous Fjords.

In China an all-electric cargo ship ironically transports coal to power generating stations. While that may not seem like progress, cargo ships and cruise ships are some of the biggest contributors to atmospheric carbon.

They burn the lowest grades of dirty diesel bunker fuel, and some studies have shown “only 15 cargo ships can produce the same amount of pollution as all of the cars in the world.“

One of the solutions is a combination solar panel/sail from Japan’s Eco Marine Power (EMP) now being tested on cargo ships.

And there is the majestic ship Tûranor Planet Solar, which circumnavigated the globe on nothing but sun power and was our Sunday Solar Photo of the Day a few weeks ago.

What better place to welcome all-electric non-emitting ferries than the Great Lakes, the planet’s largest source of fresh water.

Image: Damen. Photo of a 58m Damen ferry operating in Turkey.

‘Flying’ water-taxi cruises through Paris

River Seine in Paris on Wednesday, ahead of the VivaTech conference, which brings together tech CEOs and startups from around the world.

French yachtsman Alain Thebault wants to turn a boat design he used to break a world speed sailing record in 2009 into a clean, fast taxi service for the waterways of major cities.

The SeaBubbles prototype preserves its battery by rising out of the water on legs at speed.

»» Find out more at the SeaBubbles website